FAQs

What are those letters and numbers before each collection title?

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The abbreviations before each collection title represent each collection's unique identifier, which we use to track collections.  Each abbreviation contains some important information for you, dear researcher. Read the explanation here.

How do I cite collections in the University Archives?

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Generally, we ask that you cite our collections in the following manner:

[Name of collection], Drexel University Archives

For example, please cite a letter in the MacAlister collection this way: "James MacAlister papers, 1889-1941, Drexel University Archives." Students, if you are citing a collection for an assignment, be sure to ask your instructor which style manual s/he prefers! Check out the library's citation style resources for more help with citations.

What's the oldest thing in the Archives?

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The oldest item in our collections dates all the way back to 1115. Our collection of manuscript and printed leaves from books contains pages from the 12th to 18th centuries. The oldest book in our collections is De proprietate sermonum, published in 1478, which is part of our rare books collection. 

Do I need an appointment to visit the Archives?

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Walk-in visitors are welcome during our open hours. If you are interested in seeing a particular collection, please contact us in advance so that we can have materials ready for you when you arrive.

Where can I find out more about the history of Drexel's medical school?

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Check out the Drexel University College of Medicine Archives for more information about the College of Medicine, as well as earlier institutions like the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann Medical College.

What's a finding aid?

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The Society of American Archivists defines a finding aid as a "description of records that gives the repository physical and intellectual control over the materials and that assists users to gain access to and understand the materials." Here are the basic parts of a finding aid:

I've found an interesting collection! Can I see it online?

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Many of our collections are partially digitized and a few collections are completely digitized. Please see our Digital Collections page to see what is available online The remainder of our materials have yet to be digitized.  If there's something you'd like to see online, let us know!

Where are you located?

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The Archives is located in the lower level of Hagerty Library. Our full address is:

Drexel University Archives and Special Collections

W. W. Hagerty Library, Lower Level

33rd and Market Streets

Philadelphia, PA 19104

When are you open?

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The Archives is open from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday, and by appointment weekday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Our full calendar includes scheduled closures.

 

If you would like to make an appointment to visit the Archives, please contact us.

What is iDEA?

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iDEA is a centralized virtual space to access unique digital resources produced by the Drexel community. Administered by the Drexel Libraries, iDEA is committed to providing permanent open access to the digital works of Drexel University.

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